PALIO DI SIENA JULY AND AUGUST
This is not your typical day at the races. Twice a year Italy’s most famous horse race takes place in the Piazza del Campo, Siena. Local districts compete to win the esteemed drappellone, a large drape. The race is a ferocious affair with no rules: a horse can be victorious without a jockey provided it’s still sporting its district’s colours (a feather on its head). Access is free but it gets extremely crowded and there are no on-site facilities. To see it in comfort, ask at nearby coffee shops for tickets to the balconies of the private houses around the square: expect to pay in excess of £200.